“Use your life to serve the world, and you will find that it also serves you.”
This quote could not be more true. The most fascinating thing is that when we set out to serve, we are not looking to receive but rather to give. To help a cause, be apart of something bigger, volunteer in our children’s classrooms and the list goes on as to why we serve. We do these actions for a variety of motives but thinking about what we get from giving is never one of them.
What is so fascinating is that as the years roll by and the service continues, grows and expands so does what comes back. It is hard to see at first, oh of course, there is that immediate warm fuzzy feeling you get from doing something great. There is no better feeling than knowing that you have used your life to make another’s better.
I have served in so many capacities in my five decades and all with different motivations. As a young girl I served because I was told to. As a teen I served because that’s what my friends were doing. In college, I served because it was a great way to meet people and do something nice for someone. As a young mother, I served to make new mom friends and to begin to show and teach my children about giving.
It was only later, when I was overwhelmed with grief, lost and bereft that service healed and saved me. Like a lifeline to a drowning victim, service was there to rescue me as I was going under from grief. Service pulled me from my despair and showed me so many others whose lives were in need. Being able to help families at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, not only healed my grief but it gave me a new purpose.
Now decades later, it sounds so cliché to say you get what you give but honestly, you get so so much more. My life is beyond abundant, I could have never dreamed this journey. I ask God each day to use me towards my greatest purpose as I continue to strive to serve. It is a privilege to know that you have used your life to make an others better. Truly the greatest gift of all.
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Yesterday, was the 12th anniversary of my moment. I know you all know what it is and that I am sometimes a broken record about it, but what really fascinates me is not my own moment, but rather, everyone else’s moment. A few weeks back I wrote a post, “Simply No Words” about a friend’s tragic loss that brought my moment tumbling back as if I was reliving my own.
Dr. Phil calls them the ” 5 defining moments of your life” Oprah likes to call them “Ahaa moments” and for me I don’t really care what they are called. What I care is how those moments are used. How these moments, events in time somehow shape and mold you like soft clay.
For some, these moments are tragic, for others they are the moment of sobriety, a moment of forgiveness, a moment of loss, grief or illness but more than anything a moment of realization. After speaking with hundreds of non-profit founders, I can tell you that each one I have interviewed, can tell you their moment. That split second in time that forever altered the course of their life.
I truly believe that we all have them, some moments are bigger than others. Do we see them (warning: they are often hard to miss) But more importantly, is what did you learn from that moment? How did you use it to make another’s life better? The extraordinary people I call my heroes (aka non-profit founders) are just like you and me. What makes them so unique is their ability to take that split second in time and turn in into a lifetime of good.
Whatever you call that, defining or ahaa, these moments become gifts in defining our purpose.
When I first heard about Volunteer Match, I thought it must be one of those new trendy dating services. Actually, it’s even better because it’s for everyone and the purpose is to match us with amazing volunteer opportunities. How great is that?
This amazing idea began in 1994 when four MBA’s (Mark Benning, Joanne Ernst, Steve Glikbarg, and Cindy Shove) developed a plan to launch an online nonprofit that would promote community involvement. Their idea spread and funding came along with the non-profit community. Then came Oprah in 1999 and what followed was millions of users.
Today, Volunteer Match is the preferred internet recruiting tool for more than 89,000 non-profit organizations and has referred over 4,000,000 volunteers! Now that is a connection that matters!
P.S. If you’re looking for a great place to volunteer for Make a Difference Day tomorrow, this is the place. Happy Weekend everyone!